The students and scholars expressed their gratitude and appreciation to IIIT for the experience, the hospitality, the rich conversations and the cordial environment during the program.
Many insights and suggestions were presented during the concluding session to improve both programs. Both groups – the scholars and the students – emphasized the importance of more time for interaction between the students and the scholars.
The Summer Students Program started on June 28th, 2010 with fourteen students participating from ten different countries and diverse academic backgrounds. The program offered core courses in Islamic Studies such as Qur’an and Sunna, Islamic History and Civilization, Islamic Jurisprudence, Cotemporary Islamic Thought and Muslim World Affairs. In addition, three seminars in Islamic Reform Movements, Islamic Finance and Faith-Based Entrepreneurship were offered. Instructors of the courses and seminars included Prof. Mahmoud Ayoub, Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Dr. Louay safi, Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Dr. Jasser Auda, Dr. Jamal Barzinji, Dr. Hisham Altalib and Dr. Yaqub Mirza.
In addition to the core courses and seminars, the students visited the Washington DC offices of major Muslim organization such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) beside Unity Production Foundation (UPF) , FAITH Social Services and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).
The students also engaged in research work that culminated in research papers in areas of their interest and which they presented at the end of the program. Seven students were selected by a panel of judges from IIIT and offered a full year, non-resident research fellowship at IIIT starting September 1, 2010 and ending on August 31, 2011. The research fellowships will allow the students to pursue research at IIIT, attend selected academic conferences, seminars and panels and receive IIIT publications, besides a complimentary subscription to the American Journal of Islamic Social Science (AJISS).
The Summer Institute for Scholars started on July 26th and continued for two weeks that encompassed twenty sessions of lectures, panels and paper presentations. The focus of discussions this year was on the relationship between Qur’an and Sunna. The program attracted eighteen scholars from various disciplines such as religion, Islamic studies, law and jurisprudence, Muslim world affairs, political science and economics (Full list of participating scholars here).
The Scholars Institute Program included an opening lecture by Professor Sherman (Abdul Hakeem) Jackson, entitled “Beyond the Fiqh-Reform Paradigm: The Challenges of Cultural Authority and the Future of Islam in the West”. Professor Mahmoud Ayoub delivered a key lecture that contextualized the relationship between Qur’an and Sunna historically and methodologically. A third lecture on the status of the other in the Qur’an was presented by Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Director of the Islamic Studies Program, the University of Delaware. Dr. Mohammad Fahim Khan shared with participants critical insights in understanding the principles of economics in the Qur’an.
Two special panels on the “IIIT Islamic reform agenda” and on “Teaching Islam in American Universities” were organized during the program. Several prominent scholars participated in those panels, including Professor Mahmoud Ayoub, (Chair of the Summer Institute), Dr. Khaleel Mohammad (San Diego State University), Dr. Aisha Musa (Florida International University), Dr. Cemil Aydin (IIIT Chair at George Mason Univesity), Dr. Louay Safi, Research Fellow at Georgetown University, among others.
Twelve paper presentations were made on topics related to the theme of the relationship of Qur’an and Sunna. Some of the topics presented included:
The program also included a doctoral thesis presentation by Mohamamad el Sanousi, who just received his doctorate in Jurisprudence ( J.D.) from Indiana University. (To view full Program, click here).